Monday, 27 April 2015

State #boarding #schools - are these the secret gems of the state sector?

Parents will often make huge sacrifices to enable their children to gain the unique opportunities offered by a traditional British boarding school education. What they don't always realise is that this opportunity can be gained at a third of the cost at one of the UK's state boarding schools. 

The standard of education offered at state boarding schools is very high and the boarding provision matches that of the independent sector. Add to this the myriad extra-curricular activities and the chance to make friends from all over the world and the state boarding option starts to look very attractive. Just as in independent schools, children in state boarding schools make deep friendships which last for their life-time, and the opportunity for building character, independence and resilience is invaluable. The opportunity to board can also benefit families where parents work long hours or have to travel overseas for work reasons.

State boarding schools are very varied in style and character and are situated all over the country. There are selective schools and comprehensive schools; co-ed and single-sex schools; primary schools, secondary schools and sixth form colleges; specialists in many different subjects; all-boarding or minority boarding. The best way to find out which school would suit your child best is to start with the website and then arrange a visit.

Pupils joining state boarding schools need to be UK or EU passport holders, but this includes a surprising number of nationalities from across the world. In order to apply parents will need to look at the individual school websites. Many state boarding schools are academies and you can therefore apply direct, but for Year 7 pupils, you may find you need to approach the relevant local authority.

For more information take a look at the State Boarding Schools Association website on

Do you need some advice on choosing the right school? 

Visit our website for more details on how our team of professional, friendly consultants can advise you.

Monday, 13 April 2015

A few tips for #parents when supporting a teenager with #exam #revision planning.

Here are a few words of advice from our Director of Consultancy Services, Brian McGee.

This is the time of year when parents are often tearing their hair out about their teenager’s revision planning – or lack of it! Here are a few useful Dos and Don’ts for stressed parents.

  1. Provide a clear, quiet space for revision, away from the rest of the family, with a desk and access to the internet
  2. Support your teenager with ready drinks, snacks and healthy meals
  3. Ensure that the family routine allows for good quality sleep
  4. Offer to help with revision planning, including drawing up a calendar of family commitments between now and the end of the exams which might interfere with the programme
  5. Encourage your teenager to take regular breaks, including periods of activity, preferably outdoors, after any two-hour revision session. The brain needs time to absorb new material and so the memory will still be working away while the student is doing other things
  6. Offer to act as a testing buddy. Facts and theories need constant embedding through regular checking and testing of knowledge. Test material from the previous day’s revision, then test it again the following week
  7. Encourage your teenager to use the study methods which work best for their learning style, be they mind maps, charts, audio clips or flashcards
  8. Download past papers and mark schemes from the exam board websites so that the student can test and check their knowledge and understanding under examination conditions
  9. Offer to buy revision guides, highlighters and index cards to help with revision, but beware of spending too much on published revision guides without the advice of your teenager’s teachers
  10. Plan little treats to break up the revision period and a nice big treat for after the exams

  1. Nag! Not only is nagging counter-productive, but it actually interferes with the calm, rational thought processes required for good learning to happen. It also causes unproductive stress for you!
  2. Assume that your teenager’s laissez-faire attitude means they don’t care. The head-in-the-sand response can often belie severe anxiety going on underneath
  3. Panic that they have left it all too late. A good revision plan even at this stage can make a difference, working back from the dates of the exams
  4. Tell them they’re going to fail. Teenagers’ confidence can easily be severely damaged by your apparent view of them, even if well-intentioned

Good luck!

Do you need help with revision planning? Our friendly, professional team of education consultants can help. 

Please get in touch for an informal chat about your requirements.

Tel 01865 522066 or email Claire via